10 Things You Should Keep to Yourself

6 min read

Everyone has times when they need to confide in others. But, there really are some things that you just shouldn’t share–at least with certain people, anyway. Here are ten things you should think about keeping to yourself.

10. Your Goals

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Keep your goals to yourself! That’s the advice writer and entrepreneur Derek Sivers gave in a TED Talk. Here’s the reason why: Research has shown that sharing our goals with others makes those goals less likely to happen. That’s because we feel a bit of instant gratification when our goals are noticed by others, and as a result, our minds have been tricked into feeling that we’ve already reached our goals. Then, instead of actually pursuing them, we stop (or become less motivated) because we feel there’s no longer a need to achieve those goals. Psychologists call this phenomenon “social reality.”

9. You’re Looking for Another Job

Job Search
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This is something you definitely don’t want to share with your boss–or your co-workers.

If you’re looking for another job, keep that information to yourself. Or, you just might find yourself out of a job, especially if your boss begins questioning your loyalty to the company. Rather than wait for you to quit, they just might decide to fire you instead. Plus, co-workers who secretly want your job would like nothing better than to see you out on your keister. They may use your job search announcement as an opportunity to get you fired before you even have a chance to hand in your resignation. And, if a company needs to make cuts, they’re more likely to get rid of someone who doesn’t plan on being there much longer anyway. That could spell trouble for you if you haven’t even been offered another position yet.

8. Your Past Affairs

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When you’re head over heels in love, you may be tempted to divulge every little detail to your significant other. But there’s a big difference between being honest with someone and telling them your entire life story. Unless you’re cheating right now, it’s probably not a good idea to tell your partner that you’ve been unfaithful in past relationships. After all, it’s behind you now. It’s all in the past. Besides, confessing to past infidelities might very well cause your current partner to distrust you. And, once the trust in a relationship is gone, the love is usually the next thing to go.

7. You Have a Criminal Record

Jail Cell
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Sometimes you’re required to tell others about any convictions you may have. But, if you have a minor criminal record, it may be best to keep that information hush hush. Having a criminal record–even a minor one (e.g. an arrest with no convictions)–can ruin your life. It can affect your job opportunities, credit rating, housing options, and your chances of earning a college degree. Unfortunately, criminal records are considered public information, and are therefore accessible by pretty much anyone. But, there is a way to keep prying eyes out of your business–get your record expunged or sealed.

Expungement, also known as “sealing,” is a court-administered process that restricts public access to criminal records, although law enforcement agencies will still be able to access your record. You usually must file a petition to have your record expunged, but in some cases expungement is automatic.

6. Your Financial Situation

Financial Situation
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Trust us, no one (other than your creditors) cares how much money you and/or your spouse makes. Besides, if you happen to make more money than your family, friends or co-workers, they could end up resenting you–or worse, taking advantage of you. Case in point: Lifestyle writer Opal Stacie said she had a friend “who would split the bill with me whenever we’d go out until she found out how much I made from my most recent promotion. After that, every time we would link up, she would subtly ask me to foot the bill. Her favorite excuse was, ‘Well, you are the one with the big time job!'”

5. Your Weaknesses

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If it wasn’t a widely known fact that Kryptonite is deadly to Superman, his enemies would never know they could use it against him. The same thing goes for your enemies (or perhaps we should say frienemies) knowing your weaknesses. In some cases, letting people know your weaknesses gives them way too much power over you, and they just might end up using your weaknesses against you. Insecure people are especially good at this. Pointing out your weaknesses takes the attention away from theirs.

4. Your Marital Problems

Marital Problems
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Unless they’re also your therapist, your family and friends don’t need to know about your marital problems. While you may be tempted to vent to those close to you, doing so can place extra strain on your relationship once you and your spouse patch things up. That’s because even though you’ve forgiven them (or they’ve forgiven you–whichever the case may be), your family and friends might not be as forgiving. The fact that your partner cheated, admitted to hating their in-laws or committed some other gaffe, will always be in the back of the minds of your family and friends, and, as a result, they’re likely to hold it against them.

3. Your Health Condition

Health Condition
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While it’s important to discuss your health with your doctor and your family, you might want to keep any illnesses (physical AND mental) you may have a secret from those you work with. The last thing you want is your boss questioning your ability to perform your duties because you have a chronic illness or are suffering from depression. “While it might be permissible for some employees to call in for a mental health day, keep your specific issues under wraps,” Salary.com suggests.

2. Your Good Deeds

Good Deeds
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“When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise… When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.” -Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version (CEV)

That’s the creed that Christians follow. And not merely just for religious reasons. After all, no one likes a show-off. And, when you start bragging about your heroics, you take the spotlight off the people you’re helping and place it squarely on you and your huge ego. So, the next time you feel the need to toot your own horn, take our advice: DON’T!

1. Your Past Resentments

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We’ve all been wronged by someone, but there’s no need to go around holding grudges against people for stuff that happened thirty years ago. And, there’s certainly no need to pass on the pain to others. The best advice is to just let it go. What’s in the past should stay in the past. When we hold on to resentment, it “can lead to unhappiness, continual irritability, and psychological compromise including excessive anxiety and depression,” according to Psychology Today.

For those of you struggling to let go of past hurt, Psychology Today recommends these tips:
-Try to see what’s going on in the other person’s life that might have caused them to hurt you.
-Don’t resort to getting revenge.
-Try forgiving them.


Are you keeping a secret? Tell us every little detail of it in the comments section below. Just kidding! Unless of course you really want to divulge :-). Thanks for reading!